Testing for Age Group Swimmers
The following has come out of discussions with National Junior Coach Ken McKinnon. The impetus for the discussion was supplied by an organization asking for input on testing.
The discussion led to asking the following questions.
- Do you have a coordinated testing strategy for your team? Do you take senior tests and water them down or have you created specific tests for your younger swimmers?
- Do you have a club stroke model for all strokes? Do you have expectations about what a stroke should look like at different levels of development inside of your team’s groups?
- Is there a technical expectation in your aerobic tests or are they simply tests of endurance? Do you have expectations around technique and turn quality?
I think we need to approach testing as both a measure and an educational tool. Testing needs to become a repeated part of weekly planning in a form where it enhances what you are doing instead of becoming a stand-alone portion of planning. The same test wouldn’t be done every week but they should be done on a regularly scheduled basis. All tests need to have a technical reliability component to really be effective as measure of improvement.
These are test suggestions from Ken:
400 Free timed logged, monitored and evaluated
300 IM/Free 100 each of 50 IM/50 Free, 100 each Fly-Back-Breast
200 50 K-100 S-50 K
800 Free timed logged, monitored and evaluated
600 IM/Free 200 each of 50 IM/50 Free, 200 each Fly-Back-Breast
400 as 100 Kick-200 Swim-100 Kick
Mini-Max Stroke Count + Time
Log SC + Time per 25 or 50
Add them all up
Goal is lowest total of SC and Time of the entire set
Log results, monitor and evaluate consistently
8x25 and/build to 4-6 x 50
8x50 on 1:30
1 set for each stroke
(Note – teach how to swim equal SC on each 25 – proper push offs on turn push offs)
Teach descending swimming
8x50 on 1:15 Descend by 2s – 1 set on each stroke for practice
8x50 @ 1:15
Descend 1-8 – begin at Personal Best + 10 and descend by 1.5 – try to maintain a low Stroke Count
Log SC + Times
Note where the SC jumps and design training sets around this point. For example if the stroke count goes from 15/15 per 25 inside the 50 holding :32, to 15/16 or 15/17 at :31 or :32; design a set of 50’s where the swimmer needs to hold :31 at 15/15 repeatedly, then move to trying for :30 at the same count.
200-400 m descend the 50s or 100s
Teach Band Pull
NOTE – I think you could/should log and post many of these sets results as a group and/or team
Other quick ideas to consider logging as a group or team
25 – 50 – 100 Kick
4x50 on 1:00 Best Average on each stroke and IM
100 Free and or Back Band only